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How do I organize myself when travelling back and forth between the Cottage or trailer and home?

This was a question that I was asked this week, and I think it makes a great topic for today's blog.

Get Organized travelling Back Forth Between cottage2FTrailer and Home This Summer 300x300

This is the time of year that a lot of people are continuously moving back and forth from home to cottage/trailers and it can get quite confusing to keep track of all the things you have at each place, not to mention what you bring back and forth.  Inevitably you will end up at the cottage without that important ingredient for Friday evenings meal because you could have sworn you had some there…but in fact it is in your home kitchen cupboard.

Planning and organizing are key in moving back and forth.  Deciding which location is home base for the summer helps in planning…do you spend more time at the cottage and only occasionally go home?  Or do you spend the week at home and weekend at the cottage?  For the purpose of this blog I am going to concentrate on those that are weekend cottagers/campers.

For starters I suggest that you have a specific spot in your home that is designated as the cottage/trailer ‘to go’ location. Have a cottage bin ready to load in this location, something that is easy for you to just drop things in as you think of them thoughout the week. 

In the Kitchen:

Duplicate - The simple answer is to try and have duplicates of all the basics, most people do this anyway.

Keep a grocery list for each place separately – This is key so you know what you need at each place not just what you need.  As most people have phones now, the ongoing lists can be kept in digital format or use a shopping app, there are thousands out there to choose from.  I personally just keep it simple and use notes on my phone.

Take a picture of your fridge and main pantry at the end of the weekend – taking a picture of the cottage/trailer fridge and main food pantry will help you visually see what is there instead of trying to remember at the end of the week when you are getting ready to get weekend groceries in town.  Between this and your list you should be good to go!

Plan the menu - I always suggest menu planning, that is one of the key ways to stay organized and plan for meals and grocery shopping.  Whether home or cottage having a general menu plan will take a lot of pressure and stress of you when its time to feed everyone. Fro more info on menu planning check out this blog – Menu Planning Made Easy

In the Closet:

Keep it there- Keep the main items that are a must have at the cottage/trailer right there.  Especially things like bathing suites that are not easy to live without if you forget to bring them back.  For the very few must haves get accustom to hand washing them so they don’t have to be taken home to wash and possibly forgotten there. There is nothing as disappointing as getting to the trailer only to realize you have to spend the weekend without a bathing suit.

Travel with a basic wardrobe – If you often find yourself Sunday evening not wanting to go back to town, but then fussing over the fact that you did not bring your work clothes with you…then get in the habit of having at least one back up work outfit on standby for just such an emergency.  But in reality you should ALWAYS plan to not want to go back home Sunday night hehe

Give everyone their own travel bags that go back and forth- keep everyone’s things separate and teach kids the responsibility of packing what they want to bring back and forth (with supervision if they are young).  Keeping everyone's things separate makes it easier to supervise what is being brought back and forth.  Just remember to check younger kids bags for the essentials.  We once went away for a weekend and I mistakenly thought my kids were responsible enough to pack on their own.  My daughter had 3 suitcases all packed and ready go, so I just assumed that she had what she needed…We arrived at our destination only to discover that ALL 3 suitcases were full of stuffed toys and blankets…but not one stich of clothing.   Yup, nothing but the jacket that I had asked if she had before we left haha.  Now maybe this was her ploy to get new clothes, but I can assure you that the lack of stores in the area we were left her with just a few basics for the week J  After that I checked or made a list and made sure she had what she needed before we left each time.

In the Bathroom:

Duplicate - This includes toothbrushes, toothpaste, soaps and for all us gals have the basics like face cream and basic make up at each location as the possibility that you will forget your makeup bag some weekend is quite high.

Dedicated Travel Case - For all the stuff you cannot have duplicated,like medications, then make sure you have a travel case with these basics that go everywhere you go-  it becomes like your purse and travels with you back and forth.  

Laundry Essentials:

Separate color laundry basket for cottage/trailer - If your laundry facilities are at home and you are bringing things back and forth, then have laundry baskets that are easily identified as belonging to the cottage.  Keeping the laundry that comes home separate from home laundry and setting it aside in the designated cottage ‘to go’ spot will keep you from forgetting it when heading back to the cottage. Always check the dryer before you leave for the weekend.

The juggling of 2 living spaces throughout the summer can get confusing and frustrating once in awhile but the memories and fun had at these summer getaways are well worth the efforts.  A little planning and organizing can go a long way to make the back and forth a little less crazy!

Do you have any tips or tricks you use to stay organized between your cottage/trailer and home?  If so share them with us in the Kaos Support Facebook Group!

Happy Summering!

Kim

Are You Living A Life That is Ruled by Your Stuff 300x300You have a house, a house full of stuff, stuff takes up space, the more stuff the more space, stuff takes up energy in your space, stuff requires work, stuff has to be dusted, stuff have to moved around, stuff has to maintained…The more stuff you have, the more that stuff owns your time, your thoughts and you!

Are you living a life that is ruled by your stuff?

The material age has been ruling our lives for decades now, with easy access to buy stuff we have gathered in our space so much more than we actually need.  We have been ruled by our emotions, by our memories, by the status of owning bigger and better and more to show our success in life, to show what we have accomplished, to show everyone what we did…but the question is at what price does this come?  In my experience the more stuff you own…the more that stuff owns you.  The more it cost to maintain the stuff, the more it cost, the more you have to spend, the more you spend, the more you have to work, the more you work, the less you have time for family, the less you have time for fun, the less you have time for you. And when you reach that gold age of retirement the more you have to have saved to continue to maintain your stuff. 

There is freedom in releasing stuff from your life. It is not an easy task to let go of things that have memories, stuff that may still have life left in it, stuff that you spent lots of money on.  But the price of letting go is FREEDOM.  You can free up your time, your energy and your mind space by taking action to reduce the amount of stuff in your life.

Does your stuff own you?  Are you ready to release and be free?

Here are some tips on how to get started:

  1. Decide what is most important in your life now- what do you want your life to look like, what do you want to do with your time, what if your vision of the next phase of life.

  2. Start paying attention to what is surrounding you in your life now and evaluate if it is moving you towards your vision or away from it.

  3. Make an action plan to start moving you towards your vision.  What needs to happen, what needs to be release, what needs to change, what is the realistic time line to get there.

  4. Start Taking Action! 

If releasing your stuff is part of your action plan, give us a call, we would love to be part of making your vision a reality.  It can get done faster, easier and with a lot less stress when you get experienced help!

Here’s to FREEDOM!

Kim

Seriously Your Kids Dont Want All Your StuffAre you starting to think about downsizing your space and now looking at all the stuff you have accumulated over the years? Are you thinking that your kids would just love to have all this extra stuff? Do you really want your legacy to be all the leftover clutter?

I work with lots of people who are in the downsizing process.  During the process when clients are struggling with letting something go I often hear ‘ my kids might want that’  so things go into a massive pile of things for the kids.  I have also dealt with a lot of homes of  ‘the kids’ who have become their parents family landfill because they could not say no to mom or dad as they did not want to hurt their feelings.

One of the things I have learned over the year is that YOUR KIDS DON’T WANT ALL YOUR STUFF!  Seriously, they really don’t.  if you think your legacy is all the stuff you have collected and if you are saving everything for them, I am here to tell you today to stop…you are saving things that I can guarantee you your kids do not want.   Maybe they want a few things, maybe they have some favorite memories about certain things, but when push comes to shove they do not want all that stuff in their space.  It is just too much!

If your parents gave you all their stuff when they were done with it, and all their parents stuff. And all their parents stuff and oh how about all their parents stuff…would you want it?  I am going to go out on a limb here and say NO!  Maybe one item as a family memento but not ALL that stuff!  It is just too much!

A great way to find out what your kids would like is…wait for it…by asking them – I know I’m soooo smart aren’t I?  haha!

Ask them if they had to choose one or two favorite items what would they be?  Put their name on this stuff for when you are ready to let it go if that time is not now. 

Ask them is there is anything the need to make their life easier.

Ask them if they actually have room for the stuff they say they want.

But please do not put the burden on them to take all the stuff you don’t want because you cannot let it go otherwise. That is a lot of pressure on them and will quickly fill up their space with stuff they do not need or want.  Do them a favor and only share stuff with them that they truly want and need. 

PLEASE do not be offended when they do not want something...or if they say they don't want anything.  Millennial's are especially interesting, as a lot are not attached to any thing and easily say no! it may feel like an insult but in actuality it is a great skill to have that will serve them in having a simplified life! 

I know letting go of stuff is hard, and I know that giving it to a relative makes it feel like the stuff is not really gone.  But filling up a loved one’s house with ‘stuff’ that they really don’t need, use or love is not doing them any favors.  All that does is overwhelm them with clutter…something they will have to deal with eventually as well.  Let that stuff go now, pay it forward and let someone who really could use it, need it and love it have it now.  Don’t put that expectation on your kids to be that person…spread the wealth and spare your kids the burden!  Make your legacy one of paying it forward instead of one of overwhelming your kids. Seriously, they don’t want all your stuff!

If you need some help figuring out what to do with all that stuff, check out my downsizing packages.  I can help make the process easier and much less painful.

Happy Downsizing!

Kim

TOP 5 QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN 300 X 300

I might, maybe, someday, perhaps use that…but will you really?

In my experience people’s homes are often filled with what I call aspirational clutter.  This is all the stuff that you think you might one day use or you use to use it in the past and ‘maybe’ you will use again one day.  (but probably not!)

These items include:

  • Old craft and hobby stuff, for crafts and hobbies you no longer do or participate in.  This includes crafts and hobbies you thought you might like so you bought that old car to refurbish, that needle point to do, that sports racket but you never actually got around to doing them or you started and realized you did not like them!

  • Odds and ends that you keep stored in many containers in the garage and junk drawers because you never know when you need one of those gizmos or whatnots. 

  • All those magazines and books that you might read one day.  I’m not talking about your favorite books or those sentimental books you keep on the shelf (that is more sentimental clutter), I’m talking about those books and reading material that you planned to read but it has been over a year (or more) and you still have not cracked it open and probably never will.

  • Recipes & recipe books full of potential new meals that you might, but probably wont, try one day because it is easier to just fall back on the family favorites or you just look up new recipes online now.

One of the hardest things about getting rid of this aspirational clutter is getting over the money that was spent on the stuff that you did not use.  So you hold onto it forever thinking you may one day actually do something with it. In the mean time your home is so full of good intentions that you have no room to live today!  What is that cost to you and your mental state having so much clutter around?

My questions to clients when dealing with aspirational clutter are:

  1. How long has this ‘stuff’ been lying around your home?  (the answer is normally many years)

  2. If you have not touched it 3 years or more do you REALLY think you will ever use it? I mean REALLY and HONESTLY?

  3. If the time comes that you need this doodad or gizmo will you actually be able to find it (is it organized and stored in a permanent home)? or will you end up having to go buy a new one because you have no idea where it is?

  4. How much square footage does this stuff take up and is it worth the price you pay per square foot to store it long term?

  5. What would your life be like if you let this go and cleared it out?

These questions are meant to stimulate thought about this aspirational clutter.  It is not my job to decided for you what you should keep and what you should release.  It is my passion and my job to get you thinking about what you surround yourself with, why you keep the things you keep and how it is serving you in your life today. Surrounding yourself with too much aspirational clutter can invoke feelings of guilt for not ever getting around to using the stuff and feelings of overwhelm if there is just too much.  It is time to let go of the might, maybe & someday and make room for TODAY!!  

The final question is always....Does it stay or go?

If you are ready to tackle the clutter and need some help, then connect with me, I can help you move forward towards releasing the clutter!

Happy Decluttering!

WORK SMART CREATE A SPACE THAT SUPPORTS YOUI cannot sit still. Anyone that knows me, knows that I am a wiggler by nature. I have wiggled in any chair I was put in since I was a little girl. My body's natural state is movement. So sitting at a desk writing blogs, articles, editing videos, posting status updates, writing a book or any other sitting at a desk task is not a natural state for me. The creative part is there...the content is inside of me. But taking the time to sit still to get it out is painful. (that is why I like doing videos hehe)

When I spend too much time in a chair my body protest loud and clear...sore back, sore hips and just generally feeling yucky. Over the past year or so my solution to that was to avoid sitting at my desk, avoid any work that required me to sit at my desk and generally avoid work that was not hands on and required movement. This year I made a pack to change that. I started a LMI course called Effective Personal Productivity to learn to be more focused and use my time better. Through this course I had to look at all the time I was wasting procrastinating. the lesson was 'time is not wasted in hours or days but in minutes'. I wasted A LOT of minutes avoiding being in my office at my desk. I would start, then get up every few minutes to do 'something'.

Because of that avoidance, I had let my office get out of control. It was messy (yes don't freak but even organizers get messy sometimes, at least this one does). I had moved around some pictures and never got new ones put up, I love plants but not a one was in my office! Because I was avoiding being at my desk, I avoided looking after my space. Because my space was driving me crazy, I avoided it, so it got worse. Because my mind was focused on my uncomfortable desk, I kept the pattern going- I could not work in there. The more I focused on not being able to work in there, the more chaotic the space became.

Once I became aware of what I was doing and what I was focusing on, I decided I had enough of the chaos pattern, understanding the root cause (an uncomfortable desk), I took action and did something about it. I took some time for my office and I to spend some quality time together!

Here are the 10 things I did:

1. First I made the decision to make my office space 'yummy' –I wanted my space to feel inspiring, look great and smell good!

2. I designed my dream stand up desk and then whined to my hubby to build it for me – because he is both handsome and handy!!
Some Assembly Required

ONCE THE DESK WAS BUILD - WHICH TOOK A COUPLE OF WEEKS OF PLANNING, ORDERING AND WHINING- THE REST OF THIS LIST HAPPENED OVER A WEEKEND!

 3. I decluttered old paperwork that had gathered and got rid of junk that came out of my old desk, as I cleaned it out preparing for a move to the new stand up desk.

Sort Purge4. Since I was in the mood, I also cleaned out the office closet and reorganized it.

5. I watched a marathon of Netflix to keep me company, mindless stuff that played in the background as I worked.

6. I opened the window to let some fresh air flow into the space.

7. I went and reclaimed a favourite painting to hang above my desk.

8. I went out and bought a couple of plants.

9. I posted my old desk on Kijiji and sold it!

SOLD

10. I sat in my office Sunday night, vanilla candle burning to fill the air with sweet scent and I planned my week…feeling tired but inspired once more!

I am now the proud owner of the most beautiful, practical stand up desk a girl could want in an office that inspires me to take action. I can stand, wiggle, dance all I want and STILL get work done. I am wiggling as I write this post lol.

stand up desk

So this is a reminder to pay attention to your own habits and body. Figure out what you need and create a space to work that supports you. Create the space you need to work comfortably and that promotes your own health. Standing desks are awesome, we are not meant to sit for long periods of time (well at least I am not)!

What issues are you dealing with that seem to be a habit that stops you from being your most awesome? Do you need to fix your work area? declutter? Get organized? Get focused? If so give me a call, I can help! My coaching programs are customized to your needs and takes you through my 6 step process to get you on track and working smart.

Kim